Continuity of care: Coronial recommendation

A South Australian Coroner has published findings into the death of Briony Caitlin Klingberg aged 10 years, who died at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in early 2015 as a result of multi-organ failure secondary to overwhelming herpes simplex infection. She had become ill about a week before her death.

The Coroner’s recommendation was for consideration of implementation of a campaign to inform parents of the importance of continuity of care and the risks involved in breaking that continuity with a view to encouraging them to return to hospital if they have any doubts about subsequent care, regardless of whether they believe the child is getting worse, or merely not getting better.

The Coroner noted that no single medical professional had an opportunity to observe the progress of Briony’s illness. It was said that had she returned to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital rather than having been taken elsewhere, it was probable that some further action may have been taken given that a comparison could have been made of her pre-existing condition.

With thanks to Cristina Pelkas for drawing this decision to my attention.

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